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Author Topic: I got hookups!!!  (Read 10308 times)
bevans6
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« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2011, 09:42:11 AM »

OK, so you are basically feeding a 120 VAC 30 amp outlet and a 240 VAC 30 amp outlet from a single ganged breaker.  Now, I have done that in the past but I thought I was breaking a code rule when I did it.  I really don't know on that.

Brian
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« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2011, 10:50:00 AM »

Code rule? Oh dear, here comes Sean! I dont know if it is or not. The guy who set this up for me is a backyard type guy who works in electric at Home Depot and whose wife used to change my diapers  Grin (true story haha) But he worked for the gov all his life until retirement doing air conditioning and heating in the desert, so he knows his stuff. But then again, he is also a good friend
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bevans6
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« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2011, 01:26:18 PM »

I really don't know either, it's kind of like pulling 120 vac off the dryer plug for something.  It probably gets done a lot, and if it is OK by code it's probably considered bad practice or something like that.  I apologize if I am making you feel bad or worry, it just caught my eye and I thought I would ask.  Sorry...

When I wire up something like that I never do a double connect to a breaker lug, I got yelled at once in school and it stuck with me... But I've read (on the internet) that it's kind of inspectors option to allow it or not.

Brian
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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
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Vintage race cars -
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1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
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« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2011, 01:44:44 PM »

No no, if it isnt code I want to know. I may or may not change it, but I at least want to know and have the option and be educated on it. It's hard to make decisions when I dont know the facts. But you do know the 120 comes off the 100 right? If that even makes a difference.... maybe the 120 should have it's own breaker?
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Stormcloud
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« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2011, 04:37:57 PM »

Hi

The 30 Amp 2-pole (ganged) breaker appears to serve a 240 volt load ( the 2 wires identified by blue arrows ), and there is an additional wire connected to one of the breakers ( identified by the red arrow) to supply a 120 volt load.

Here (Canada) the code requires a separate breaker for the 120 volt load, with the breaker size selected based on the wire size and receptacle specs. I don't know what the code there states.

The setup you have now likely works, but may cause issues if you have load on both the 120 volt and 240 volt circuits at the same time.

Just my 2 canuckian coppers.........

Mark
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 06:03:18 PM by Stormcloud » Logged

Mark Morgan    near Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
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« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2011, 06:18:14 PM »


Thanks for the drawing Mark! Very cool and I now understand! I thought he connected it to the 100, but obviously not..... still dont know about code though. What kind of issues would be caused by using both outlets at the same time? Fire? Or just a tripped breaker?
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2011, 06:26:36 PM »

Not likely a fire. The breaker would only allow ~30amps on each side,. If you have load on BOTH wires connected to the same breaker, the 30 amps would be shared by the loads.
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Mark Morgan    near Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
1972 MCI-7     'PapaBus'  8v-71N MT654 Automatic
Sean
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« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2011, 09:22:19 PM »

Teresa, what they are talking about is the 15/20-amp, 120v duplex receptacle on the left side of the post, which is unlawfully tapped off the 30-amp, two-pole breaker for the 14-30R receptacle.

Not only does this represent multiple code violations, it is also quite dangerous.  The 20-amp receptacle is "protected" by a 30-amp breaker, which can easily lead to overheating of the receptacle, the wiring, or anything plugged into it.

The 30-amp breaker is only permitted to support a single load, you can not have two wires connected to the same pole of the breaker as shown.  And the 20-amp receptacle must be protected by a 20-amp, single-pole breaker.

This type of main service enclosure, with integral meter base, is not intended to supply branch loads as you have done.  It is intended to contain main service disconnecting breakers which then supply downstream sub-panels.

I would encourage you to contact a real electrician and have this done right. In California, that would be someone with a C-10 license.  Your life and the lives of your loved ones may depend on it.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 09:25:47 PM by Sean » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2011, 09:31:53 PM »

Sean, I'm curious about something.  I have been told before that a breaker can have only one load wire attached.  What is the reasoning there?  Certainly, we do not want the circuit to be overloaded, but what difference does it make if two receptacles, for example, are connected directly to the break or strung together as long as the total load is withing spec?
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2011, 09:36:14 PM »

Not likely a fire. ...


Sorry, this is not correct.  In fact, fire is extremely likely with this setup.

It would be all too easy to draw up to 30 amps through the receptacle itself, which is only rated for 20 amps, or worse, a connected 15-amp extension cord, which could easily melt under the additional load.

If it were me, I would disconnect that receptacle until the situation can be corrected.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2011, 10:03:24 PM »

Sean, I'm curious about something.  I have been told before that a breaker can have only one load wire attached.  What is the reasoning there?  Certainly, we do not want the circuit to be overloaded, but what difference does it make if two receptacles, for example, are connected directly to the break or strung together as long as the total load is withing spec?

I am not aware of any provision of code that restricts a breaker to have only a single load wire attached.  That said, all breakers must be installed in accordance with the terms of their listing, which means that if the manufacturer rates the lug for only a single wire, then only a single wire may be connected.  Most electrical devices are clearly marked, either on the device, the package, or the instruction sheet, as to how many of each size of wire may be connected.

If multiple receptacles are connected to a single breaker, whether by multiple connections at the breaker or by some other connection downstream, all receptacles must be rated for the full load supported by the breaker. (There is a specific exception to this for multiple 15-amp receptacles supplied by a single 20-amp breaker.)

There are also some important restrictions.  Laundry outlets, such as for a dryer, are only permitted to supply the laundry.  I posted my earlier response before reading the whole thread (part of the thread was on my screen when I got back from dinner, and I continued typing) and so I did not see the part about the 30-amp receptacle being for a welder; I thought it was a dryer outlet, which would make connecting other outlets to that breaker impermissible.  The issue of a 20-amp receptacle on a 30-amp breaker is still the major problem here.

Several other code and safety issues are evident in the photos, such as a #14 wire (maybe its a #12, hard to tell in the photo) being secured in a lug that is clearly not made for wire that small.  One of the reasons I wrote that this type of panel is not intended for smaller branch circuits.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 10:05:10 PM by Sean » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2011, 06:55:09 AM »

 Cry Fire scares me. Okay I will change it out! He said it is 12 wire and was trying to save me trenching and wire. He says he isnt an electriction but was just trying to help. Thanks Sean! I live in a mobile home that is near this panel and it would go up in smoke fast. Thank you.

BTW the electrictions in this little hick town wont teach me. I tried to hire someone before to teach me while they put in some other outlets for me and they would not. I do have another friend who lives a few hundred miles from me offer to come out and teach me, he went to school for electronic engineering but never did anything with his diploma..... Im thinking about getting him out here.

If just removing that 120 outlet would make it safe that would be better....... would that work?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 07:22:33 AM by happycamperbrat » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2011, 08:13:00 AM »

Im not trying to argue, but to learn. Please dont take this wrong. But if this panel is only meant to house mains for other panels, why does it have places to put holes in the sides like this



whereas the main for my house says 100amps and the wires run out of the bottom (and then to another panel) like this?



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bevans6
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« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2011, 08:55:22 AM »

The different knock-outs and holes are there to give flexibility in how the panel/enclosure can be installed.  Sometimes the cable or conduit comes in the side, the bottom, the back, depending on the physical requirement.  Sean was basically saying that the panel with the meter is supposed to be used for the meter and the main (100 amp in your case) service disconnect, then a separate panel is supposed to contain breakers for the branch circuits (the 50 amp for that outlet, the 30 amp for that outlet, the 15 amp for the little 120 volt outlet, etc).  When the enclosures are designed they build in as much flexibility as they can so they can be used to do a lot of different things, and then it's up to the installer to configure it properly, safely and to code when they do the installation. 

The main reason electricians won't teach you is they went to school for a number of years, served an apprenticeship and wrote examinations to get a license to do what they do.  It's not illegal for you to do it yourself if you get a permit before you do it and have it examined and passed after you do it and before you turn it on, but they invested a lot of time and money to qualify for their trade.  They won't be best served by teaching someone 2% or 3% of what they know so that person can go ahead, do things wrong, hurt themselves.  I went to school for electronics all those many years ago, I understand electricity just fine, I was trained along the way in basic house wiring and such, and I've done simple house wiring for people who had a permit and got an inspection of my work.  But I am absolutely not an electrician, I don't know 10% of the code.  I get a panel installed, I hire a pro!  It's a funny thing, an electronics engineer might design the panels and the breakers and the wire, or the way it has to be installed, but a licensed electrician has to actually do the work!

Brian

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1980 MCI MC-5C, 8V-71T from a M-110 self propelled howitzer
Spicer 8844 4 speed Zen meditation device
Vintage race cars -
1978 Lola T440 Formula Ford
1972 NTM MK-4 B/SR
Sean
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« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2011, 08:58:45 AM »

...
If just removing that 120 outlet would make it safe that would be better....... would that work?

The 20-amp duplex outlet, which is connected to one leg of the 30-amp breaker, is certainly the most pressing problem with this installation.  Disconnecting and removing it would make things safer.

That said, I see perhaps a half dozen other problems and violations here, and really, to be safe, you should correct them all.  For example, the mismatched wire/lug sizes I mentioned earlier.  I also see improperly identified wires and missing chafe protection.  Without being closer to actually see or read the wire sizes, I am also concerned that the wire gauge may be inadequate for the load, and I have some concerns that the fittings used to attach the boxes might not be the appropriate liquid-tight type.

Im not trying to argue, but to learn. Please dont take this wrong. But if this panel is only meant to house mains for other panels, why does it have places to put holes in the sides like this


The covered-over 'hole" you indicate is called a "knock-out."  General-use electrical enclosures come with a variety of knock-outs in various locations to make it easy for the installer to chose the one(s) that is/are right for the application.  Having lots of knock-outs means installers will spend less time and energy in the field with a punch making holes in other places.  However, it is NOT the intention that every knock-out will get used in any given box.  In fact, if you look at a standard 4" square junction box at, say, Home Depot, you will notice it has no fewer than 17 knock-outs -- three on each side and five in the back -- and it would be impossible to use them all.  The idea is to use only the ones you need.

Years of experience tell me that the integral panel in that pedestal is not meant for smaller branch circuits.  But the definitive answer is in the pedestal's listing.  Somewhere inside the pedestal will be a label which either contains or refers to that listing.  The listing will tell you what kind of circuits are allowed inside the pedestal.

The 100-amp circuit feeding the home exits the bottom because that was what was most convenient or appropriate at the time of installation.

BTW, there are violations on that circuit as well, to wit, the conductors are not properly identified.  Also, it looks to me like the flexible conduit used is not the type rated for outdoor/wet locations or direct burial.  Sometimes even licensed electricians cut corners.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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